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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 16 – Harry Meets Draco Malfoy
(HP Chapter 5)

Madam Malkin stood Harry on a stool at the back of the shop. After throwing a long robe over his head, she started to pin up the bottom to the right length. Harry was short and underfed – both physically and spiritually – so his robes must be readjusted to fit his current condition.

There was another boy going to Hogwarts who also needed his robes adjusted. He was standing on a stool directly across from Harry. He was pale with a pointed face that matched his unloving, prideful attitude. This was Draco Malfoy, one of the forces of opposition Harry experienced at Hogwarts, but at this point, Draco didn’t reveal his name to Harry.

Draco means dragon, and dragons are instrumental in carrying out the work of transformation. They appear throughout the work at various stages. Although the major theme of the Harry Potter series was overcoming our fear of death, biblically, we are also taught that the ultimate ability to love includes being able to love our enemies. Draco offers Harry that opportunity.

Draco was Harry’s first introduction to the beliefs and attitudes of a particular group of witches and wizards. Draco told Harry that his father was next door buying his books and his mother was up the street looking at wands. Apparently, Draco had very little control over his own life. His parents were doing things for him. In fact, his beliefs and attitudes were simply a regurgitation of his parents’ beliefs and attitudes.

He strongly reminded Harry of Dudley, one of the forces of opposition at home. Sometimes, the things we think we need to escape from are the very things we need to help us ascend. Even though Harry will be free from Dudley during the school year, he will continue facing similar trials through Draco.

This boy hits us with his personality and belief system all in one blast. Being somewhat passive, Harry just listened to his ramblings, wishing he could think of something interesting to say. Harry’s desire for friends was strong, but much of the conversation was one-sided. That made him feel stupid. He knew nothing about brooms, Quidditch, Hogwarts’ houses, or bloodlines.

Draco preached separatism. He talked about attempting to manipulate his parents and breaking school rules even before school had started. But what really turned Harry against him was his attitude toward Hagrid. Hagrid was peeking through the store window, and Draco wondered who he was. Harry felt pleased that he finally knew something that Draco didn’t: Hagrid’s name. But Draco came back with a nasty reply. “Oh. I’ve heard of him. He’s a sort of servant, isn’t he?”

Hagrid serves Dumbledore, but the Master isn’t above the servant. Both mentors are necessary for Harry to complete the path. Draco, however, felt that Hagrid was beneath him. He had a strong need to reveal to Harry some of Hagrid’s faults. That caused Harry to instantly dislike him. Although Harry did stick up for Hagrid, “I think he’s brilliant,” Draco was shocked. But he also allowed the comment to pass by him. He asked Harry why he was with Hagrid and where his parents were.

From mechanical programming to a strong family influence, the Wizarding World was not so far above the physical world. It was only a small step, a first step towards perfection. We let go of physical laws being all there is, and embrace spiritual laws, but we continue to display many of the same behaviors, beliefs, and mistaken attitudes that people the Muggle World. Getting religion or spirituality doesn’t perfect us. We still have many miles to go before we learn how to love perfectly.

When Harry informed Draco that his parents were dead, the boy offered a token of apology that didn’t sound like he was sorry. “But they were our kind, weren’t they?” Harry was stunned at the question. Mostly, because that type of separatist attitude had never occurred to Harry, but he told Draco yes, his parents were a witch and wizard if that was what he was asking.

Draco immediately began mimicking his parents’ attitude and beliefs, yet again, about bloodlines. It just never stops with this boy. He talked non-stop and it is always negative. Hogwarts should not accept anyone who wasn’t of the old Wizarding families. His justifications felt right in his own mind because that was what he had been taught. He was a mirror reflection of his ancestry.

At age 11, Draco resembled many young boys who have not yet arisen to their own potential. He also represented those who get caught up in family belief systems that are difficult to break free from. In his heart, he doesn’t believe what he’s saying. He’s just a parrot. Draco needs liberation from his ego as badly as Harry does. “What’s your surname, anyway?”

Draco asked Harry, but before Harry could answer, Madam Malkin rescued him. The fitting was done. Harry was grateful that the conversation was over. He jumped down from his stool and walked out of the shop. Apparently, Draco needed a larger adjustment than Harry did.

The whole experience left Harry feeling depressed. He was quiet. Even though Hagrid was kind enough to buy him an ice cream cone, Hagrid could see that Harry’s demeanor had changed. Harry lied to Hagrid and told him there was nothing wrong.

We feel sorry for Harry because we know how badly he wanted a friend. We know how badly he wanted a different life than the one he had with the Dursleys. And we don’t see that friend or different life in Draco. We forgive him for lying because we understand that the lie was driven by Harry’s reluctance to express his feelings of inadequacy and doubts.

As Harry and Hagrid continue buying Harry’s school supplies, Harry began to feel a little better and asked Hagrid what Quidditch was. “Blimey, Harry, I keep forgettin’ how little yeh know—“ Hagrid’s blast didn’t make Harry feel any better. He felt stupid enough already. He felt alone, like he didn’t belong in either world. Hagrid’s words felt almost like Hagrid was rubbing his ignorance into his face.